COVID-19
Response Plan

INFORMATION UPDATED AS OF 3/16/20 AT 3:00PM

Message from Esko Public Schools Administration 3/16/20 at 3:00pm

Esko Families:

The following communication contains critical information regarding school closure procedures pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Child Care for Emergency Workers

Under proclamation by Governor Walz, emergency workers are to be provided child care during our closure period for their school-age children (12 and under). Esko will provide care for qualifying students in grades K-6, by reservation, on school days from 7:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Esko Community Education Center.

Qualifying workers include:

-Providers of health care

-Emergency medical service workers -Post-acute care workers

-Law enforcement personnel

-Personnel providing correctional services -Public health employees

-Firefighters

-Other first responders

-Essential court personnel

If you wish to utilize this service and believe you qualify, send an email to Cool Kids coordinator, Brianna Mattonen at coolkids@esko.k12.mn.us by Tuesday, 3/17/20 at 1:00 p.m. These reservation-only childcare services will begin on Wednesday, March 18.

All other child care programs operated through the school district will be unavailable during the closure period.

Nutrition Services

During the closure period, schools are directed to provide meals to students in need. Esko Public Schools will offer ‘grab and go’ boxed lunches in East Parking Lot near the playground each day from 11 a.m. to noon. Two meals and a snack are available to each qualifying student per day, covering breakfast and lunch.

To access this service, please contact food service coordinator, Irene Tout at itout@esko.k12.mn.us by 3/17/20 at 1:00 p.m. Please include the number of students for whom meals are being requested and note any food allergies for your child.

Student Mental Health Services

All who are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic will experience different emotional challenges. For tips on how to talk to your child about this difficult situation, please see the linked resource.

https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/school-climate- safety-and-crisis/health-crisis-resources/talking-to-children-about-covid-19-(coronavirus)-a- parent-resource

For students who have additional, non-emergency needs for school mental health support, Esko Public Schools will continue to provide remote access to school counseling services. To obtain these services, please contact our counseling team at mhsupport@esko.k12.mn.us or via phone message. Messages will be checked daily during school hours.

  • Alissa Anderson, School Pshchologist (218) 655-5013

  • Nicki Peterson, High School Counselor (218) 879-4673 ext 631

  • Christine Ringat, K-7 School Counselor (218) 879-3361 ext 254

Remote and E-Learning

Friday, March 20, 2020 is the end of the academic quarter for Esko Public Schools. The focus for this week will be assisting students in finishing up 3rd quarter tasks. Nothing new for 3rd quarter will be assigned after the closure period. Teachers may communicate electronically with students and/or parents to complete make-up work or finish previously-assigned tasks. This will take place from Wednesday, March 18 to Friday, March 20. Communication will happen via the tools our students and parents are accustomed to: SeeSaw, Canvas, email, etc.

On Thursday, March 19, 2020, Esko Public Schools will announce the date for the start of 4th Quarter Remote and E-Learning. While we believe face-to-face learning with a teacher in a classroom setting is irreplaceable, Esko staff will be prepared to provide the best possible learning experiences for students during this challenging time.

At the time of the March 19, 2020 communication, families will receive a link to the Esko Remote and E-Learning website. This will include information about how learning will look for your child given her or his grade level.

After reviewing our Remote and E-Learning site, your questions can be emailed to your child’s teacher or teachers. The site includes information about students with special learning needs, families without WiFi access and other important matters. While technology is utilized in our learning experiences each day in our schools, providing fully remote and e-learning in this fashion will be new to all of us. Our practices will evolve over the coming days. Together, with a flexible mind-set and proactive communication, we can support the continued academic growth of Esko students.

Additionally, Esko Public Schools staff will be prepared to adapt and change course as new or shifting expectations and restrictions are placed on us.

Sincerely,

Esko Public Schools Administration

Message from Esko Public Schools Administration (post 3/15/20 at 6:20pm)

Message from Esko Public Schools Administration (post 3/15/20 at 6:20pm)

Good Evening Esko Families:

We appreciate your patience and support as we plan for and navigate uncharted territory related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Like you, we are reacting to the daily and hourly decisions that are being made at the state and federal level, taking appropriate actions to address the safety and educational needs of our students. Starting on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 Esko Public Schools will close to students through at least Friday, March 27, 2020 under the direction of Governor Tim Walz and the Minnesota Department of Education. Monday, March 16 and Tuesday March 17 will be used as days to communicate remote and e-learning instructions with students and provide families with time to make arrangements for the coming closure . If your child is ill or medically-fragile, please keep her or him home on Monday and Tuesday. All school and community education activities and events are canceled during the time of closure. Students and adults without specific authorization are not permitted on school property for any reason.

In a follow up communication on Monday, March 16, 2020, families will be advised of plans for school-provided child care for emergency workers, nutrition services for qualifying families, and arrangements for student mental health support during the times of school closure. Likewise a timeline for the start of our remote and e-learning plan will be shared in a future communication.

Sincerely, Esko Public Schools Administration

Message from Superintendent Aaron Fischer, (post 3/13/20 at 2:30pm)

Greetings,

The administrative team along with our school nurse just listened to the latest update regarding COVID-19 from our Governor. He stated that schools will continue to be open. We will follow this guidance and will continue to be open. We will continue to follow the guidance that was provided by our school nurse to help manage a safe environment and the custodial crew will continue to clean the rooms and commons areas.

The administrative team, following the direction of the Governor, has developed a few more recommendations for you to follow that we feel will assist in providing a safe environment.

  • The District will be suspending access to visitors and volunteers to the classrooms.

  • The District will limit the access to parents to only the Building Offices. Parents will be directed to wait in the office when picking up a child or dropping something off for them.

  • The District is suspending all field trips. If this is an issue, please see your building principal.

  • All concerts, classroom programs and similar events are suspended until further notice.

This situation is constantly changing and evolving. I appreciate your support as we work through this very difficult time. The administration will work to keep you informed on this topic as things evolve.

This plan for addressing any Coronavirus incident is intended to serve the best interests of students, employees and families in the event of an incidence or threat of the Coronavirus infecting an Esko School student, employee or a family member of any of them.

While it is anticipated that the District would have the full support of the Minnesota Department of Health in dealing with a crisis involving a Coronavirus incident, the District has primary responsibility for the health and safety of its students and employees in school. Therefore, the District will react swiftly and decisively to assure the good health and safety of those individuals if a crisis occurs.

Prior to a Confirmed Case of Coronavirus Incident at the Esko Public Schools


Preventing Coronavirus Incidents

The District encourages students and staff members to begin the following measures to avoid contracting the Coronavirus and avoiding the spread of it if they unknowingly have it:

  • Washing hands frequently with soap and water for a minute each time

  • Covering their coughs by coughing into their arm—not hands

  • Staying home when sick

  • Avoiding touching their face with unwashed hands

  • Hand-shakes and touching of each other should be discouraged

  • Touching uncleaned objects (like door handles and faucet handles) with clean hands should become an issue of awareness

  • Accessing sanitizers and wipes available in classrooms should be encouraged

Additional steps the District will take to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus

  • Although the District already does regular cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces throughout each school on a regular basis, the level of cleaning and disinfecting will be accelerated in common spaces and classrooms of every school.

  • Parents are asked to encourage their children to increase their personal access to these wipes and hand sanitizers.

Monitoring for Coronavirus Incidents

Monitoring the health condition of students, employees and family members

  • The District will closely monitor the health conditions of students and employees while they are in school in order to detect any potential for the presence of an infectious illness, including Coronavirus.

  • The District is also asking parents to work with them to help prevent any spread of the Coronavirus if it comes to our community. The District requests the immediate notification of any family member who exhibits any serious symptoms that could impact students or staff members.

  • However, the Minnesota Department of Health has primary responsibility for the overall monitoring of Minnesota residents who may be exposed to the Coronavirus, and they would inform the District of steps they expect the District to implement.

Monitoring the exposure of students, employees and family members to the Coronavirus

  • The District cannot possibly know the interactions of students, employees or family members outside of school; however there would be an immediate effort to identify social interactions of any infected persons related to our school.

  • Again, the Minnesota Department of Health will assume primary responsibility in the event of anyone in Minnesota becoming infected, and the District will cooperate fully with the Department in the steps to be taken.

Identification of Coronavirus presence in a student, employee or family member

  • The Minnesota Department of Health will have primary responsibility for managing the existence of the Coronavirus in any student, employee or family member; and the District will cooperate fully.

  • In the event that the presence of the Coronavirus in either a student, employee or volunteer is first discovered at school, the District will need to take immediate control of the situation until the Department of Health can intervene and take appropriate actions.

  • The District has protocols in place for immediate isolation of the person involved, communication to families with students in the District and our employees, and the safe transportation of infected or exposed students if such an event occurs.

Travel out of the area or travel out of the country

  • It is realized that families in the community travel frequently and engage with a wide range of people in their travel.

  • With Spring Break coming up at the beginning of April, such travel and connections will increase exponentially.

  • This activity will increase the possibility of encountering others who either have Coronavirus or have been in contact with someone else who has the virus.

  • The District would not ask anyone to alter travel plans, but we all need to realize that travel during this time will add to the risk for students, staff members and parents traveling and others whom they contact when they return to school.

  • We will be especially vigilant during the first couple of weeks of school following Spring Break and follow all of the prevention protocols.

Determining if the Esko Schools Will Close as a Result of a Coronavirus Incident

The decision to close would involve the Minnesota Departments of Education and Health, and the District would be responsible for implementing the closure. In each of those situations, the Department of Health would decide the need for quarantining people on a case-by-case basis.

There are scenarios involved if there is ever a decision to close school due to the Coronavirus, including:

  • An emergency closure by the District if a student, employee or volunteer showed clear signs of having the Coronavirus during school.

  • The school would be closed and individuals associated with the school would be quarantined.